Important to punish Korean's murderers, U.S. envoy says

MANILA, Philippines – US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on Tuesday, January 24, stressed the need to punish the murderers of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo in the Philippines, in what he called "a horrible case."

"I think what's important is that there is a full investigation of what happened and that those found to be responsible for this heinous act are punished appropriately," Kim said in a media roundtable on Tuesday, when sought for comment.

Kim, who was born in South Korea himself, also sent his condolences to the family and friends of Jee.

"This is a horrible case of a South Korean businessperson being murdered," he told a group of Filipino journalists, including Rappler executive editor and CEO Maria Ressa.

In response to a question about law enforcement, Kim added: "I'm not going to make sweeping judgments about whether this is an indication of a breakdown of law enforcement efforts, but I think what's important is that this whole thing happened, and there must be a full investigation of what happened, and the culprit needs to be brought to justice."

Jee was killed inside the Philippine police headquarters, Camp Crame, hours after he was abducted from his home in Angeles City on October 18, 2016. (READ: Murder inside Camp Crame: A tangled tale of crime)

The Philippine government on Tuesday apologized for Jee's death.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se earlier relayed his "grave shock over the implication of Philippine police officers in the case." –